just a mom figuring it out one day at a time

Lesson Learned

As some of you may recall, I decided to go off of the reservation this summer and, with the exception of my son’s Boy Scout camp, my children spent their summer in free form.   One of the trips that we took was to Calvert Cliffs.

Calvert Cliffs is about two hours from our home. It is a series of cliffs along the Chesapeake and is known for its fossils.  However, to get to the beach area that is known for the holy grail of fossils, you have to hike in almost two miles.  On the surface, this doesn’t sound so bad. There is a lot to see along the way as it winds through the tidal marshlands. The trail is wide, well developed and not terribly taxing.


Or so I thought.

Typically during a Maryland August it’s all you can do to lift each limb through the oppressive heat and humidity.  But the day that we took our hike was actually perfect—low 80’s and little to no humidity.  As we wound our way through the path leading to the beach area a thought drifted through my head…

“Heaven help me if one of the kids gets hurt out here. It would suck to have to haul them out.”

Not wanting to give the thought any power, I pushed it from my mind and continued our afternoon.

While there we, and the other mom and her kids with whom we came, enjoyed an afternoon of fossil hunting, building of fairy houses and a lovely picnic lunch.  It really did turn out better than expected and as the clock neared 2:30 PM we decided it was time to pack it up and head home.

My friend and I took the lead and the two boys and girls followed. Not a tenth of a mile into the return trip I hear the most awful scream behind me. Without turning, I knew it was KC.

Running back towards her, I see her sprawled on the ground.  Her knee and hand were jammed into a stump protruding from the ground.  Pulling her up, I hoped that she could just brush it off and we could go. Her tears and the mounding lump on her knee said otherwise.

My thought had turned into a premonition. I was going to have to carry my nearly eight-year-old daughter out of here. This was not at all what I planned and it wasn’t going to be pretty!!!  I squatted down, picked her up on my back and began walking.

Visions of me alongside of my fellow exercise friends who donned weighted vests for bootcamp classes came to mind, only I was not wearing a measly vest, but was carrying all 60lbs of my daughter!

Still I held out hope that if I carried her for a little bit she would be okay and could resume walking.  Each time I stopped though, she began to weep and insisted she couldn’t put weight on the leg.  Given how much the knee was swollen and bruised I didn’t want to push it further—since I had no idea what I was really going to be dealing with.

Finally we made it back to the car and began the two plus hour ride home in rush hour.  My daughter, who rarely complains about pain, said nothing more about her knee.  Initially I thought we had missed the worst of it and figured a good night of ice and rest and she would be back to normal.

An hour into our trip she and her friend decided to play cards in the back seat.  As they did, I heard her call to me.

“Ah mom, I can’t hold my card in my hand of the arm that got hurt.”

Oh crap. As I turned to look at her she really couldn’t hold the cards between her hands. Then as she tried to twist her wrist, I saw her wince. So much for making it out unscathed.

After we got home I gave her ice and got ready to take her to Urgent Care.  The long and short of the visit there was that she needed to be seen by an orthopedist.  No stranger to them myself, I knew I would love to take her one of my doctors but I reminded of a lesson I learned while working on my book—if a child is seriously injured or ill you really should seek out a pediatric specialist in that field because children’s bodies are still developing and are very different.

The next morning I made an insistent call to a pediatric orthopedist in the area and got in to see her.  Shortly thereafter, the doctor informed me that little miss KC’s knee was just fine, but it was likely that she had a stress fracture in the growth plate in her wrist.


Within an hour of walking into seeing the pediatric orthopedist, Krash Test KC walked out with a yellow highlighter, water proof cast.  And while I appreciate from having benefited from the advice gained from a fellow parent, I wish I hadn’t had to learn this lesson this summer.


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